Marlins @ Mets Series Preview

Clearly playing for worst ball of all the division leaders, the Mets limp home for a brief six game homestand, starting off with a four game series against division rival Florida. The Marlins are tied with Atlanta for second place in the East, one game behind the Mets. After this series, the Mets host the Phillies for two, then begin play against the American League Central.

It looked like the "upgraded" Met offense was starting to come alive in California. After starting their west coast trip 5-1 and putting up big numbers in San Diego, they proceeded to score a grand total of six runs over their next 36 innings. Only a ninth inning, pinch hit double by Mark Johnson allowed them to salvage the final game of the Philadelphia series. Still, the Mets are finding ways to stay atop the division, mostly because of their outstanding starting pitching and bullpen work. The much maligned defense has also shown improvement.

After a good start, the Marlins have also stumbled a bit lately, going only 2-5 on their current road trip. Many observers feel the Fish have the best starting rotation in the division, and Manager Jeff Torborg said before the season that he felt the Marlins pitching could shut down the Mets. Right now, Danny Almonte could probably shut down the Mets. One of those Marlin pitchers, Brad Penney, just went on the disabled list and will miss this series. Still, the Marlins combination of good pitching and fine young everyday players could keep them in this divisional race all season.


Marlins OF Cliff Floyd has not been at full strength since jamming his left knee May 21st...Mets IF John Valentin, on the DL with a strained rotator cuff, is feeling fine and expects to come off May 29th...Marlins RHP Josh Beckett has allowed two runs or fewer in 8 of his 11 career starts...The Marlins have hit 21 home runs and scored 88 runs after the sixth inning, tops in the National League...Incredibly, the Mets 1-0 win on Thursday was their first 1-0 road win since the memorable October 1, 1985 game in St. Louis, won by a Daryl Strawberry home run off the scoreboard.

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